Talk:Middle Ages

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Featured article Middle Ages is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on September 12, 2013.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
April 19, 2012 Good article nominee Listed
April 17, 2013 Peer review Reviewed
May 26, 2013 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Further reading section[edit]

Hi, is there anyone else who thinks that the "Further reading" section could need some cleaning up? I would expect to find reading on a general level about the Middle Ages there, and of such works there are a number of examples, e.g. Smith, Julia (2005). Europe After Rome: A New Cultural History, 500-1000. and Stuard, Susan Mosher (1987). Women in Medieval History and Historiography. , but I also spot a few works which seem, at least at first glance, to be more of specialised studies, perhaps better suited for sub-articles?. I'm thinking of "Does Inquisition Belong to Religious History?", "The Carolingian Age: Reflections on its Place in the History of the Middle Ages", "On the Representation of History and Fiction in the Middle Ages" and "History, Historicism, and the Social Logic of the Text in the Middle Ages". What do other people think? If these or some of these are removed, perhaps there are other, more general works which could replace them (one that comes to mind at once is Robert Bartlett's The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950-1350). Yakikaki (talk) 16:36, 2 November 2014 (UTC)

Objection to reversion[edit]

User:Ealdgyth, I don't have time to argue with you about this, but I object to your reversion of my edit. We really should put in the approximate dates of the different parts. I really did correct a sentence that was bad – read it carefully! The sentence I restored about the three periods is useful information. The timeline is a good thing. And if you don't like me using "ca" to mean "about", then edit it, don't revert! Please be more considerate, and restore my edit. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 14:59, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

But ... the approximate dates aren't exact and are actually contradicted in the text - we're better off giving the context than misleading folks with the parentheticals. The timeline is subject to the same issue - it makes things look neat and tidy when they aren't. And the sentence which you added about Pirenne is unsourced - this is a FA ... everything is sourced. You added it in before a sentence sourced to Mommsen's "Petrarch's Conception of the Dark Ages" - but nothing in Mommsen's article discusses what you added at all. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:12, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, I'm restoring my edit, with a couple changes. I've used "about" instead of "ca", and put "citation needed" after the sentence about Pirenne and Huizinga. That sentencce is almost sourced, since it says exactly who popularized that way of subdividing the Middle Ages. I don't have their books, but I'm sure that anyone who does can check, and put in an exact reference. It's not forbidden to put in a sentence that does not have full reference. As for the division dates (476, 1000, and 1300), of course they're not exact. That's why I said "ca" and now "about". There's no such thing as an exact date for these divisions, because the divisions are arbitrary anyway. I think some dates should be given in the introduction (as I have done), because people want to know. They don't want to read the whole article to find out. If the body of the article gives different dates, then edit it so that either they agree or there is some explanation about differing opinions. Don't just revert! Also, the timeline obviously gives one particular (popular) way of dividing the Middle Ages, but it's useful. Nobody is going to get some wrong idea from it. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 15:29, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
"Almost" sourced isn't good enough - if you don't have a source (and it needs to be a secondary source stating that those scholars popularlized it ... you can't use their works for that statement. Please remove the unsourced statements (including the unsourced timeline) from this featured article. You're actions are not helpful to it keeping it's status as a featured article. Ealdgyth - Talk 15:48, 28 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm reverting for now, following the Bold-Revert-Discuss cycle. We shouldn't be adding new material into any article complete with a cn tag, particularly after it's already been challenged by another editor, and we shouldn't be adding material to the lead that we know is at odds with the cited material in the main body without discussing and getting consensus on the talk page first. I'm not keen on the timeline either, btw, as I don't think it helps communicate the ambiguous message in the main text well. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:54, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So why don't you fix the things you don't like instead of reverting? Did you notice the sentence that I corrected, and which you and Ealdgyth have both put back to the ungrammatical form that it had? By the way, Ealdgyth doesn't contest the fact that Pirenne and Huizinga popularized the division into the three periods with divisions at 1000 and 1300 – he just doesn't like it that there's a sentence without an explicit and full reference. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 07:19, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

I don't know either way if it's Pirenne and Huzinga. And it's probably not that important in this article either that those names get mentioned - we mention the person who first used three part division - this isn't an article on the historiography of the concept of the Middle Ages - it's an article on the Middle Ages. As for the grammar problem - it's better to make changes to well-established articles in small steps - your improvements won't be lost when sweeping changes get reverted. Your change to the sentence in the lead about the Carolingian Empire is wrong - the breakup started in the mid-9th century and we should not be saying it lasted until the end of the 9th century. If that sentence is your concern - I've tweaked it. Ealdgyth - Talk 13:13, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Eric, you say "why don't you fix the things you don't like" -- I agree this is common practice on pages that are still being actively worked on, but it's not the usual approach for featured articles. When I edit a featured article (and often this applies to good articles too) I assume that multiple people have looked at and agreed on the current text, and even if I have good reasons for a change I comment on the talk page first to try to get consensus for the change. That doesn't apply to small fixes, grammar changes, and wording, of course. In addition, there are two specific things about your suggested edit that definitely need to be discussed before implementing. First, putting in something with a {{cn}} tag seems like a backwards move -- why not just wait till you or someone else can get the source in question, and add it with a proper citation? Second, the timeline directly contradicts the content of the article. That means it shouldn't go in without accompanying changes to the article, and surely you'd agree that would need discussion, even if this weren't a featured article. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 14:30, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The pre-existing version, now reverted to, isn't really ideal. In the lead you can piece together from various paras the top-level timeline, apart from the high-late boundary. And that doesn't even appear in the section on periodization. Eric is at least correct that this information, with suitable caveats, needs to be in the lead, and in the periodization section in some form. Johnbod (talk) 15:07, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

recent edit[edit]

[1] Personally I think a shorter version of this point worth keeping. It's not just their views (the Bulgarian nation is no doubt 100% with them!). Johnbod (talk) 14:07, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

It really belongs more as "Historiography" than "modern perceptions" and while I'm not opposed to a shorter version - I haven't seen it in other writers. I'd want to see that it's a mainstream view rather than just (as presented) the view of two historians. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:28, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Alternative definition of "Middle Ages"[edit]


the Middle Ages (European history)
1.(broadly) the period from the end of classical antiquity (or the deposition of the last W Roman emperor in 476 ad) to the Italian Renaissance (or the fall of Constantinople in 1453)
2.(narrowly) the period from about 1000 ad to the 15th century Compare Dark Ages


Middle Ages
The period of European history from the fall of the Roman Empire in the West (5th century) to the fall of Constantinople (1453), or, more narrowly, from circa 1000 to 1453.
The earlier part of the period (circa 500-circa 1100) is sometimes distinguished as the Dark Ages, while the later part (circa 1100–1453) is often thought of as the Middle Ages proper.


the Middle Ages
in European history: 1 the period (c.500-1500AD) between the fall of the Roman Empire in the West and the Renaissance. 2 sometimes strictly the period between 1100 and 1500.

The definition at the start of this article fails to acknowledge the secondary definition that I have highlighted above in red. For example, in English and British history, the "Middle Ages" is sometimes considered to start at the Norman Conquest in 1066. If my memory serves me correctly, attempts to note this secondary definition within the article have in the past been reverted by people who for some reason could not understand or believe that this definition was in use. It is time that this issue was looked at again. (talk) 02:06, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

No, this has been done to death, and not very long ago. Dictionaries are not the best sources to use, and to restrict the MA to "circa 1100–1453" completely bizarre. Bringing the Dark Ages in is another issue - see that article. Johnbod (talk) 03:08, 31 May 2015 (UTC)